Tag Archives: European Union

BRexit from the Bayou

What will become of the Special Relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom in coming months and years?

What will become of the funds in peoples varied accounts and peoples varied investments in America and the world?

What will become of the European Union?

These are all questions brought to the fore by the recent event called the BRexit Referendum.  They are important questions and will only be slightly ventured into within this post but it is possible that some more insight may be forthcoming from other portions of this site past, present and future.

This blog is a place in the wide world where very ambitious plans (which to many would seem absurdly ambitious and very unusual) are put forward. But the reason that I do put forth such plans is in part because the economy does not just respond to purely economic forces and purely economic plans made by typical economists are not likely to steer it all that well. Nor do I believe that conservatism — which I lay claim to here repeatedly –means having no plans at all. In fact I believe both planning and a limited socialist and communitarian element belong in any  healthy conservative economic philosophy. Among many plans in this blog is a desire expressed to bring the United States to a floating quatrimetalism which is something like the gold standard. As I type this many are rushing to gold. Compared to either panic or the pure gold standard this standard might actually seem moderate. But in recent years it would usually have seemed very bearish and conservative indeed.

 

The Current Queen of England and Scotland's United Kingdom with Eisenhower

I don’t think any two constitutional changes are the same. The British Monarchy is not our target here in the problems I as an American and a Cajun may point out.  But it was among the targets of the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812.

Do you come to this blog to get a sense of what stock market and financial  trends are urgently important? Perhaps you should. I seldom discuss market volatility or warn of impending short term risk in that aspect of life but prior to one of the biggest crashes in my lifetime my humble blog warned of the possibility in time for a handful of readers to have called their brokers and accountants if they were inclined to do so . But I make no claim to being unique in pointing out the risk, nor to having given specific advice. Nonetheless, the overall pattern of advice here seems to have been better than that being offered in some other quarters.

 

Britain Exits — the United Kingdom is finding a path forward without EU membership. Company will not be kept by the same countries in the same way ant longer — or so it all would seem. The news which has been developing includes a seeming set of contradictory signals from various places as to how fast this split should be. Voices are urging speed in the EU, as seen in detail here. But there have been voices from Spain, the UK and several other countries that have emphasized the need to proceed at a measured and not overly hasty pace.  The question on the most minds these days seems to be how severe the financial and economic impacts will be. Alan Greenspan. former Federal Reserve Chairman of the United States of America  has been a voice warning that there could be extensive and extended effects. TIME has been able to put together an article that is much more optimistic, that is linked here.

France one would think is still France, Germany is still Germany, the UK is still the UK. Italy may even be Italy and so forth. One feels when a severe corrections sets in that there were reasons in the market for panic. One suddenly sees Europe, the U.K.,  stock markets and financial markets as well as other institutions in a different way than one saw them before. During the Chinese crisis a while back I urged a more moderate view of the crisis than was then in vogue but I did not produce any large autonomous piece on the subject which I can now locate. However in the case of BRexit I posted on this subject just a day before the historic vote. That post is here.

I began with these words:

 

The British who it seems are by far America’s closest association in the world — even if to me it is not obvious that this must or even should be the case or deciding whether of not to leave the European Union.  NATO is surely in decline and is troubled despite being very big and victorious. As a Cajun I would like to see better relations between the US, France, Belgium,  Spain and the UK especially. But realistically those relationships may be as good as they are going to get.  the Brits who want to stay in the EU fall into those who see Europe as a country and say the sooner it becomes a superpower nation state the better and those who believe it is better for British interest to stay in the EU.  Those who want to leave include people who fear woes of limitless migration, economic collapse and cultural corruption in the new order. But the real thorny issues are not simply resolved into two camps  — but the votes are in tow camps. Some have said the shooting in Orlando helped the leavers most — called Brexit. BRexit can argue that families like the Mateens can arrive anywhere in Europe and strike anywhere else and nobody has a chance to know the risk.  Some who want to stay in believe Europe must change and offer better collective security and that will be best for Britain.

Armed with a few links to various articles, I raised the alarm on a potential Stock Market  Crisis to those among my readers who might not have been prepared.

The lack of certainty this vote has created in the stock market and elsewhere is discussed here.  But this is an analysis mostly of how the markets will react if BRexit beats the Remainers. It is a bit more complicated to decide whether the current process itself is affecting financial markets and other economic indicators, perhaps some of that complexity can be recaptured here.

So BRexit has happened. Why did it happen that Britain left first because there was a referendum. Lord Norton discusses that here. TIME has put together an approach to why there was a referendum as well, a sort of history linked here. But here is a telling quote from Lord Norton in a post linked herein a post linked here:

In the post-war era, the issue of European integration has been a fault line of British politics.  Both main parties have been divided internally  and both have changed their stance on the issue.  However, there has been no formal requirement for a referendum on the issue.  Harold Wilson used a nation-wide referendum, a constitutional innovation, in 1975 in order to resolve conflict within the Labour Party.  David Cameron moved to initiate one in response to conflict within Conservative ranks.  The roots are to be found in the last Parliament.  Details can be found in the chapters by Phil Cowley and me in Seldon and Finn’s The Coalition Effect.

There was no commitment in the Conservative 2010 manifesto to a referendum on continued membership of the EU.  The crucial development was the decision of the newly-formed Backbench Business Committee to schedule a debate, initiated by Conservative MP David Nuttall, in October 2011, calling for a referendum on the UK’s membership of the EU.  Had the Committee not come into existence the previous year, with responsibility for scheduling debates (which it did on the basis of proposals from private Members), there would almost certainly not have been a debate – the Government would not have found time for it.   Despite a heavy whipping operation against the motion, 81 Conservatives voted for it.

The Referendum may or may not have been the right or best thing to do but it was note purely inevitable. Had it not happened the EU and the world would have muddled a long a bit longer on a more similar path. What happened after that is up for debate. I discuss reasons below why I think that things were not so secure as they seemed. But for now let us turn to what did happen.

This is the link to the speech in which David Cameron announced his intention to resign after the BRexit vote.  Cameron invested his very considerable political capital very heavily in this referendum. We may well hear from him again but he is tied to it forever. Tizres a commenter on this blog on occasion has on her own blog posted a while ago a post linking Cameron and the EU over time and this has surely proven her right on that and other scores as well. The BRexit may well see a resurgence of the Commonwealth, a stimulus to improve the EU constitution, the impetus for liberty enshrined in better rules around the world. It may be a very good thing. Whether good or not it may be necessary. But today it is a scary thing for many and the most obvious sign of that is the crash in the stock markets and the worldwide wealth erasures. We shall see where all that leads.   There is a great deal more that can be said about BRexit and that has to be said somewhere and perhaps many places if the current political environment is to be properly understood. Here is one place I have been discussing such things. Lord Norton had already had something to say on all of this issue which has led to BRexit, he tangentially discussed it here and has now said a good bit about the mechanic of the thing here in a brief and early post. The results of all this are likely to be significant for many people.

The European Union has 28 member countries, here is the list from the European Union’s own official website :

On the road to EU membership

Candidate countries

Potential candidates

The list above shows the difficulties compared to the United States of America. In the United States we have the Senate where votes are equal and the House where votes are by population. Then we have an Electoral College where votes are identical to a State’s votes in each of these houses and they elect our President. We have a Supreme Court charged with seeing that the basic system is preserved.  i think our own system is corrupt and this blog is a place where I have spelled out model constitutions for the United States and for Louisiana.  But our Constitution as it was originally approved and as  it exists today has the basic components to make it possible to preserve healthy state identity and a healthy federal union — just barely so in my view. However, the EU is made to work by will and skill without really having anywhere near and adequate constitutional framework. Whether others leave or not that is clearly the case. But it has been a socially and politically cheap arrangement and now it has failed a major test.  The people who paid r it to survive as it as it was were equally the US tax payers and the Soviet and Russian people who kept up a nuclear terro balance that left Europe’s great powers and their vast depository of skilled diplomats and diplomatic resources free to patiently deal with many issues while not being pressured to clearly lead or fight for survival. Would it have been good for them to become a true United States of Europe? People will disagree for good reasons about the answer to that question.  But they never built the structures we have. The comparison was always a misplaced one by any standard. Now what will happen next is a different matter — I am not making predictions in this posting.

 

How to Blog in Uncertainty

The British who it seems are by far America’s closest association in the world — even if to me it is not obvious that this must or even should be the case or deciding whether of not to leave the European Union.  NATO is surely in decline and is troubled despite being very big and victorious. As a Cajun I would like to see better relations between the US, France, Belgium,  Spain and the UK especially. But realistically those relationships may be as good as they are going to get.  the Brits who want to stay in the EU fall into those who see Europe as a country and say the sooner it becomes a superpower nation state the better and those who believe it is better for British interest to stay in the EU.  Those who want to leave include people who fear woes of limitless migration, economic collapse and cultural corruption in the new order. But the real thorny issues are not simply resolved into two camps  — but the votes are in tow camps. Some have said the shooting in Orlando helped the leavers most — called Brexit. BRexit can argue that families like the Mateens can arrive anywhere in Europe and strike anywhere else and nobody has a chance to know the risk.  Some who want to stay in believe Europe mus change and offer better collective security and that will be best for Britain.

The uncertainty that grips the world is  much larger than the issue  of one political referendum outside of the country where I am blogging today. We are not sure who will be the next President of the United States, not sure how the  tensions over issues of guns, terrorism, Islam, LGBT issues, migration and wars will shape up in coming years and months. We are not sure if Britain will leave the European Union. To undertake any blog with a political awareness in these times calls for an ability to embrace some high degree of uncertainty. Of course that is largely true for all journalists in most situations in which they earn their keep.  Nor is uncertainty limited to journalists. I am bringing attention to my resume being more accessible on this blog now and in that resume I have something about published writing:

Publications

Academic Publications:Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television; 1993,  Review – FDR’s Moviemaker: Memoirs and Scripts.

Journalism:   Extensive journalistic work in the: Abbeville Meridional, The Daily Advertiser, The Vermilion, Bonne Nouvelles ;Straight Street, Malaybalay, Bukidnon, Philippines. Resounding Praise newsletter, International , Serve  (Global) newsletter,  Family Missions Co.

Those positions and opportunities do not make me a world or national figure in journalism. But they did give me a chance to see what it is like to write in uncertain times.  In every life and almost very job we find that managing the unusually stressful and difficult situations that arise is a part of our lives. For many people that is to some degree  the secret to earning a living as opposed to not earning a living. Just a few example of my won life experiencing some kind of crisis management modality are on my mind as I blog today. Some instances included under the heading Crisis Management Experiences in the brief resume that I now include in the links on the blogroll of this blog are that I:

  1. Taught extremely long hours as a substitute teacher after Hurricane Lili.
  2. Cared for my brother Simon as IBC caregiver during Hurricane Rita and afterwards.
  3. Directed a Youth Conference in Bukidnon in the Philippines while in my late teens during a set of separate national, regional  and familial crises.

But the truth is that a reader of that document would find other things that relate to my own belief that I can and do manage to deal with uncertainty.   I cover a great deal of ground about my personal life and background very briefly when I write a simple section that gives some sense of my journey through these fifty two years:

Special Adaptation Challenges:

Have lived in and adjusted to new conditions in: Mexico City, London, New York, New Orleans, Manila, El Paso, Saltillo, Yantai,  and other urban environments. I also have lived & adjusted to new conditions in rural Colombia, Mexico, Philippines, Louisiana, Virginia, Tonga & other rural environments.

Have had a great deal of exposure to people under extreme duress, the poor, the sick, those in disciplinary education situations, those in special education, those in need of transport to and from jail and so forth.

America is shaken by the sustained carnage which has not been  so easy to categorize politically and culturally. It has many faces and many issues emerge in any discussion including which issues to include in the discussion and which events to look at when describing the carnage of which I am speaking. It is clear to me that these shootings do not occur in a vacuum. They are connected to the violence of crime, “protests”, riots, war and other facets of our troubles and current struggles.

In the United States house of Representatives the Democrats have rallied to a significant degree behind the sit-in demanding a vote on gun limiting bills that are linked to others already voted down in the Senate. One can find  stories about this revolt against House governance and procedure here and here. The protest is led by Representative John Lewis who has a long history of protest in the Civil Rights movement in his own background. In the trying and uncertain times that the country currently faces it is somewhat natural for him to bring this new level of seeking change through Civil Disorder to a new level. Many around the world feel and have felt that even if protest and demonstrations can be condoned on the street this is exactly the kind of thing that does not belong in a legislative assembly. On the other hand, many may see this as just another kind of extension of the Senate filibuster made famous beyond the norm by Capra’s Mr. Smith Goes to Washington and which has been a part of our lives during many crises in American politics.    The occasion for all this acrimony and uproar is the shooting in Orlando of scores of people. I dealt with that shooting in a post on this blog which can be found here. The implications for discussion of gun control, Islam, LGBT issues and terrorism have continued to shape the American political season.  Trump has shown a strong support for the idea that Terrorists do appear on the no fly list and are then conveniently found to be prohibited from buying guns. But he has conceded the merits of Republican plans for a due process mechanism that would review the cause for not being allowed to buy a gun. This comes in the context of his campaign’s overall support for gun control. Hillary Clinton would like to restore the Federal Assault Weapons Ban as  instituted under her husband’s administration, would support Democrat bills making the No Fly List also a No Buy List for guns. In addition there is no doubt in the minds of conservatives that no real conviction would keep her from evolving as far as she could toward a completely disarmed lawful citizenry. But she insists that such characterizations of her intentions are not fair.

Beyond the fact that the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando was shot up by a man who seems to have given countless warnings that he was likely to do such a thing as he actually did there are many questions about how he did what he did that are not answered. It is also unclear whether Latin Night at a Gay bar was a very important part of the targeting strategy are only a clearly relevant one as regard this killing by a man who pledged allegiance to the leader of ISIS. The human cost even if one limits the discussion to those killed is huge. Having given the killer’s name in my earlier post I add a link to a site discussing the victims here. I also take the time to list the names themselves here: In the wake of so many other mass shootings it is clear that this issue will not go away as a gun violence issue despite having many other facets.

Edward Sotomayor Jr., 34 | Stanley Almodovar III, 23 | Luis Omar Ocasio-Capo, 20 | Juan Ramon Guerrero, 22 | Eric Ivan Ortiz-Rivera, 36 | Peter O. Gonzalez-Cruz, 22 | Luis S. Vielma, 22 |Kimberly Morris, 37 |Eddie Jamoldroy Justice, 30 | Darryl Roman Burt II, 29 | Deonka Deidra Drayton, 32 |Alejandro Barrios Martinez, 21 | Anthony Luis Laureano Disla, 25 | Jean Carlos Mendez Perez, 35 | Franky Jimmy Dejesus Velazquez, 50 | Martin Benitez Torres, 33 | Luis Daniel Wilson-Leon, 37 | Mercedez Marisol Flores, 26 | Amanda Alvear, 25 | Xavier Emmanuel Serrano Rosado, 35 | Gilberto Ramon Silva Menendez, 25 | Simon Adrian Carrillo Fernandez, 31 | Oscar A Aracena-Montero, 26 | Enrique L. Rios, Jr., 25 | Miguel Angel Honorato, 30 | Javier Jorge-Reyes, 40 | Joel Rayon Paniagua, 32 | Jason Benjamin Josaphat, 19 | Cory James Connell, 21 | Juan P. Rivera Velazquez, 37 | Luis Daniel Conde, 39 | Shane Evan Tomlinson, 33 | Juan Chavez Martinez, 25 | Jerald Arthur Wright, 31 | Leroy Valentin Fernandez, 25 | Tevin Eugene Crosby, 25 | Jonathan Antonio Camuy Vega, 24 | Jean Carlos Nieves Rodriguez, 27 | Rodolfo Ayala-Ayala, 33 | Brenda Lee Marquez McCool, 49 | Yilmary Rodriguez Solivan, 24 | Christopher Andrew Leinonen, 32 | Angel L. Candelario-Padro, 28 | Frank Hernandez Escalante, 27 | Paul Terrell Henry, 41 |Antonio Davon Brown, 29 | Christopher Joseph Sanfeliz, 24 | Akyra Monet Murray, 18 | Geraldo A. Ortiz-Jimenez, 25

Britain is considering leaving the European Union. It is a  special time of turmoil and many people are affected by this whole vote directly. That includes the recent death of Member of Parliament Jo Cox , who was shot dead while campaigning for the United Kingdom to remain in the EU. One of my relatively long-time correspondents Lord Norton of Louth has blogged about her death and about some political aspects of it without blogging much about the BRexit vs Remainers debate itself.  His link should be available here however.   The lack of certainty this vote has created in the stock market and elsewhere is discussed here.  But this is an analysis mostly of how the markets will react if BRexit beats the Remainers. It is a bit more complicated to decide whether the current process itself is affecting financial markets and other economic indicators, perhaps some of that complexity can be recaptured here. The Lords of the Blog which has been a major influence on this blog has been notably quiet as of and up to this date of June 23 at noon on America’s great central river valley, deltas and Gulf Coast. It is also interesting that some have suggested that American Neo Nazis helped the killer of Jo Cox to arm himself. It is certainly true that Britain has rigid gun control and it also seems well documented that Cox’s killer had ties to America’s Neo Nazis. Lots of people will draw contradictory conclusions about what the all means but ties between the killer and American Neo Nazis are spelled out here. One possible belief, which I myself espouse is that when large and compelling ideals, plans and dreams for societies and nations become less successful then individual acts of violent and murderous  political expression abound and are more influential. The role of Neo Nazis in Europe’s politics is clearly on the rise and violence is likely to play a major role in their politics.  How does one deal with an act of violence? Lord Norton has been an influence on this blog for a long time and his post is relevant if only for that reason…

Lord Norton’s Post does bring up some interesting points about politics and political perception in Britain.

The appalling death of Jo Cox, the MP for Batley and Spen, generated considerable reflection on the role of an MP.   There was recognition that MPs are generally dedicated public servants.  Jo Cox was a remarkably able and dedicated Member.  She was one of many.  There has been a tendency to generalise from the unworthy few rather than the hardworking many.  MPs work long and unsocial hours and the demands of the job have got greater over time.  If there is one positive thing that may possibly come out of this tragedy (other than the amazing public response in donating to Jo Cox’s favoured charities) is a better public awareness of what MPs do.  It may provide some balance to the cynical and generally ill-informed view taken of MPs and the work they undertake.

 

Lord Norton has a compelling position from which to comment on the events shaping Britain at the moment as does Representative John Lewis and as do the major Presidential candidates. My own position is less to be envied but I have included my resume on the blogroll to provide blog readers with a concise summary of my experience and  other relevant information related to my life and work and availability for future opportunities. But Also and principally to give some context to my writing. I am able to mention there, and have it stay accessible, that I have accumulated the marks of a measurable education. These studies have included receiving  two degrees — Master of Arts, Louisiana State University, August 4, 1993. Cumulative G.P .A. 3.846 and Bachelor of Arts,  University of Southwestern Louisiana, ( now University of Louisiana at Lafayette), May 14, 1989. Cum Laude G.P. A.:  3.686. In addition, the resume lists some  distinctions acquired along the way.  These include the 1991-1993 Board of Regents Fellowship, 1989 Outstanding Graduate, Alumni Association Honors at Spring Commencement for then  USL,  being  the 1989 Outstanding Graduate of the College of Arts and Humanities and also the same  season being the 1989 Outstanding Graduate of the Department of English, USL. The Document recollects that in 1987  I was admitted to Phi Kappa Phi Honors Society and in 1985 recieved  Sophomore Class Award for a male student at the  Franciscan University of Steubenville in Steubenville, Ohio.  It was in 1990 as a memeber of the business community that I was recipient of the title of Honorary Lieutenant Governor of Louisiana. While a graduate student I received a 1992 LSU Research Grant to study at the Ekstrom Photographic Archives, University of Louisville in  Louisville, Kentucky. It also includes such data as the fact that in 1992 I was admitted to Mensa. Further that in 2012 I became a Grand Prize Winner Lord Norton’s Quiz on the official blog of the House of Lords.

Those distinctions do not mean more or less than they mean and they connect in ways not altogether clear with other parts of my life like the work I have done or have not done in various years.But today as i watched Macklemore and Ryan Lewis on the Today Show and was reminded of the role celebrity plays in getting a hearing in America I could not help comparing my blog to the popular songs and the comments associated with them that also influence policy.  I recently wrote about America’s national conversation.  That focused on journalism and violence but as we also consider legislative procedures, blogs and popular song we get a fuller picture.

This is one of those posts that only appears really in my blog. It does not really introduce all the main elements of my resume. it does not really resolve any questions related to Britain leaving the EU. It only adds these to discussions of American politics and enables a few readers  get a bit better grasp of how a few things fit together in our world.